Editors are the best. I don’t say that because I am one (though I am), I say that because editors exist to make your work better — and if you write, don’t you want your work to be better? Too many aspiring writers resist the idea of letting someone else touch their words. It’s tampering; it’s an insult; the words are pure and perfect and blah blah farking blah.
If you write, nine times out of ten a good editor will make your work better. You don’t need a pat on the back from friends and family. You don’t need blind praise. You don’t need relentless criticism. You need someone to massage your work; to bring out the good; suppress the bad; and just plain make it shine. And by god, if you’re going to write you’d BETTER be ready to embrace the process, because your words are NOT sacrosanct.
I recently got the post-editing draft of Stuff Every Husband Should Know back from my editor, Hugo award-winning editor Stephen Segal, and the result is a better manuscript than I initially submitted. I liked the submitted draft just fine, but this one is ready for prime time. It’s tighter, leaner, and cleaner. It’s still me through and through, but it’s me after a shower and shave rather than after a weekend binge of beer and cigars.
That’s what good editors do.
Your words aren’t sacred. Never have been. Never will be. Editors exist for a reason. And writers should be thankful for that.